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    Monday, 18 August 2008

    LocAle Comes To Northamptonshire

    I've previously written about Locale, the scheme which promotes locally brewed real ales getting more exposure in pubs. The scheme is growing throughout the UK, and this week is launched in Northamptonshire.

    I'm fully behind this scheme. Even with my ticking head on, I still like to see local brews, and have drank more Great Oakley Wagtail this year than any other beer. Unfortunately I shan't be able to get along to the launch event in Kettering, but may be able to tune into the radio coverage.

    Whilst supporting this initiative as I like to see local businesses flourishing, and will support them wherever possible, I don't want to hear the words 'beer miles'. After all, the aforementioned Wagtail is brewed with New Zealand's finest Motueka hops. Hardly a local product!


    YCC - Dubbel said...

    I'd love to see the LocALE scheme rolled out nationally - and pub participation a requirement for gaining entry into the GBG. I just think it would be nice to know that wherever you are in Britain, you could head for the nearest GBG-listed pub and sample a local ale.

    Well done Northants!

    Paul Garrard said...

    It's so hard when faced with a far flung ale that you've never tried to drink local. I suppose the answer is alternate. Don't think I shall stick to local at Peterborough on Thursday - the temptation will be too great!

    jimbob said...

    "I don't want to hear the words 'beer miles'. After all, the aforementioned Wagtail is brewed with New Zealand's finest Motueka hops. Hardly a local product!"

    Hops aren't heavy. Beer is. Shipping hops across the world isn't as environmentally unfriendly as shipping beer. Think again.

    maeib said...

    Paul - I will be in Peterboro tomorrow with The Reluctant Scooper, and another friend from RateBeer. E mail me and I'll let you have my mobile number.

    jimbob - Does weight matter? They've still travelled the same distance. My comment was in no way a criticism of Great Oakley brewery. I am friends with the brewer.

    Kieran Haslett-Moore said...

    I would think that weight was reasonably important considering heavy things would use a lot more fossil fuel to transfer than light things.

    That said I'm a big consumer of imported (well from your point of view exported) beer, so break all the rules, oh well.

    Boak said...

    We first came across LocALE in York - great idea. It probably wouldn't work in London as we don't have enough breweries :-(

    On the airmiles front - we agonise over this a bit. I think our compromise will be to try and make clones of some of our favourite American brews. Then we're only importing a packet of hops and a sachet of yeast.

    YCC - Dubbel said...


    I think it would work in London. The following extract is lifted from the Northants page maieb has linked to in his article:

    Each CAMRA branch participating in the scheme is able to decide on what they think is an appropriate definition of local for their area. For example, Nottingham CAMRA adopted a definition of 20 miles and York CAMRA has opted for a 25 miles definition.

    A 25 mile radius around London would encompass a large swathe of the surrounding counties and numerous southern micros.

    I also take Paul's point about finding it hard to resist obscure far flung ales when drinking in your own backyard but my point was that when travelling elsewhere in the country it would be nice to guarantee a chance to sample the local wares. This should be in addition to, not instead of, a variety of nationwide guest ales.

    Lew Bryson said...

    I saw your post noted on Stan Hieronymus's "Appellation Beer" blog, and wanted to add this. We have a tavern in Philadelphia called Standard Tap that concentrates on "local" tap beer -- no bottles or cans -- and locally-sourced food as much as possible. Couple disclaimers: "local" apparently means something different here, as in less than 100 miles away (which, in a country this size, is still pretty close, and our "locavores" aim for an under-100 mile radius of collection); and, while most of the beers are 'push' taps in carbonated kegs, the Standard does always have at least two well-conditioned cask beers pouring. So...we're in.

    LocAle sounds like a good concept, but I'm with you...I wanna drink what's available, from near or far, and don't badger me about 'beer miles!'